Gas Price Down From Summer Peak
According to the AAA Mid-Atlantic, retail gas prices are falling across the nation, even in Maryland. After reaching a summer high of $3.70 a gallon on July 23, Maryland’s average cost per gallon has dropped nine cents to $3.61 as of August 9. This price is 15 cents higher than on July 1 when Maryland’s new gas tax also took effect. Approximately four cents of Maryland’s gas cost can be attributed to the tax increase.
The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline dropped to $3.58 per gallon as of August 9, a five cent drop in the past week. The current price is eight cents more expensive than one month ago and eight cents cheaper than the same day last year. Nationally, the pump price average is 21 cents lower than the peak price this year of $3.79 on February 27 and 53 cents below the all-time daily high of $4.11 per gallon on July 17, 2008. Nationwide, gas prices appear to have hit a summer-low of $3.47 on July 7.
According to AAA, tropical storms in the Gulf Coast this season have not yet been a factor in prices; however, analysts say that storms remain a threat to the market. While not as busy as previously forecasted, the Atlantic hurricane season is still expected to be unusually active throughout the season, according to an Aug. 8 report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
AAA expects that gas prices in the coming weeks could increase due to the potential for late-summer hurricanes and potential refinery problems. These types of issues can disrupt production, distribution and gasoline supply at a time when many Americans are filling up their tanks for end of summer travel.